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Zimbabwe faces worst hunger in ten years – UN

World Food Programme, the food-assistance branch of the United Nations, has said that Zimbabwe is facing the worst hunger crisis in 10 years.

WFP deputy director, Niels Balzer, who addressed the issue in the country capital Harare, said on Monday that more than of the total population of Zimbabwe face severe hunger.

“More than half of the population of 14 million people is threatened by food insecurity,’’ Balzer said.

Balzer added that it was as a result of drought and decades of mismanagement under the long-term ruler Robert Mugabe, who died in September.

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The WFP had planned to distribute food from abroad to 4.1 million people, especially in rural areas.

The hunger crisis, however, continues to worsen.

Corn, for example, is only available in half the markets nationwide and only at prices that are unaffordable for many due to high inflation.

According to WFP, in order to provide for eight million people, it will need an additional 200 million dollars of funding for the first half of the year alone, to prevent Zimbabweans from starving.

“As things stand, we will run out of food by end of February, coinciding with the peak of the hunger season, when needs are at their highest,’’ Balzer said.

The situation was aggravated by the fact that this year’s rain season started late, he added.

(NAN)

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